|How does it feel, Bobby Valentine, to have your effort unfairly criticized?|
But what else is new?
Back in April Bobby Valentine questioned the dedication of Kevin Youkilis, one of the sport's most intense players with a reputation of wearing his heart on his sleeve, giving 110 percent all the time and treating every at-bat like it's life or death.
"I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past, for some reason," Valentine said of his third baseman, who at the time was mired in an early season slump. Boy, that vote of confidence from the skipper must have felt swell.
We all know how that turned out. Dustin Pedroia fired back, and Valentine apologized. But Youkilis never forgave his manager for making those remarks, and their hostile relationship (combined with the emergence of rookie Will Middlebrooks) led Boston GM Ben Cherington to dump Youk on the White Sox for pennies on the dollar in late June. The three time All-Star has since rescued his season, providing several clutch hits for first place Chicago. Meanwhile, back in Boston, the Red Sox are a dozen games below .500 as they put the finishing touches on what will be their worst season in recent memory.
So today, when WEEI radio host Glenn Ordway asked Valentine if he had "checked out," Bobby V. nearly blew his stack. He was insulted that Ordway even had the nerve to ask him that. Valentine, like Youkilis, is a fiery, passionate and proud baseball man who cares deeply about his job and works incredibly hard at it. Say what you want about both men, but you can not question their effort.
After all, it's not Valentine's fault the team stinks (there's a long list of culprits headed by Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Daniel Bard, among others). He deserves better. But so did Youkilis, and that's why I don't feel an ounce of sympathy for the field general. He got a dose of his own medicine, and frankly it's too damn bad that he doesn't like the taste.
What goes around, comes around Bobby Valentine. Hopefully you learned your lesson and remember to keep your big mouth shut from now on.